I always cherish those moments when you know a memory has been formed with you and your children; one that will last a lifetime. Last night we formed one of those memories thanks to the assistance of a member of the Mephitidae family and a police officer.
On the drive back from my best friend’s house (who lives in Eagle Mountain or BFE for those not familiar with this area). My three bambinos were watching a movie as I drove along an unlit section of the highway. The glow from the TV screen made it a little harder to see, but there was no mistaking when I saw the white stripe – I knew it was a skunk. Unfortunately it was already directly in front of my tire and the eerie thump, ker-plunk sound instantly followed before I had time to react.
The mammal was big enough that the resulting jolt – similar to a speed bump—interrupted the hypotonic movies-induce trance on the kids, “What was that mom?” Followed by, “Oh my gosh, what is that smell?” My answer, “I just ran over a skunk!!”
The smell engulfed the car. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw all three kids, hands covered over their noses as they were bathed in the light from the screen, and I began to laugh hysterically. The questions started rolling out from the back seat, which caused me to laugh harder; Is it dead?, how did you hit it?, why didn’t you swerve?, when will it stop stinking?, and my all time favorite from my three-year-old, “Someone pooped their pants mommy!”
My stomach was hurting and my eyes watering, partly because I was laughing so hard, but also as a reaction to the odor. I began to drive faster as it seemed to make the smell less obnoxious, when my car was lit up by bright flashing red and blue lights.
I grabbed my license and supporting documents and rolled the window down as the officer walked up beside my car. He asked me if I knew how fast I was going, and although I tried, I was unable to contain my laughter -- it was useless. I said I had no idea, to which he responded more sternly that I had been travelling 75 in a 55. It was then that I noticed his fac,e as he must have became aware of the smell.
I began to laugh harder and was barely able to squeak out the words, “Sorry about the smell, I just plowed over a skunk.” Noticing he had not quite understand me, the back window was rolled down to reveal my three children still pinching their noses and my daughter translated (In a nose-stuffed voice) what I was trying to communicate, “my mom hit a skunk!”
The officer asked where I had hit it and I told him the passenger side, and then asked if he would mind checking to see if there were skunk bits on my car. The kids asked if they could get out and look too, to which he responded they needed to stay buckled.
He walked to the passenger side and was scanning my car with his flash light, when I noticed that he started dry-heaving and holding his nose. He came back to my side and tried to remain as professional, although his skin coloring had become paler, he handed me my information and told me to slow it down. Apparently he must have thought we experienced enough stench for one night.
So I am issuing official apologies:
· To those driving behind me (Jo Jo) after I took out Mr. Skunk, (as I am sure they also got to experience the reeking benefits) – sorry!
· To the boys at the car wash who had to scrub off my car – an extra tip!
· To my neighbors who were wondering why there was a skunk in suburbia – it was just my car that is strategically parked outside!
· Finally to Pepé Le Pew, sooo sorry, but thank you for helping me get out of what would be a rather large speeding ticket and resulting spike in my insurance cost – may you rest in peace!